Notes Ryder Cup Update Wies Scheduling

By Associated PressApril 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
Trevor Immelmans victory in the Masters didnt generate much attention in South Africa, mainly because he finished his round at 2:30 a.m. in his native country, after most people'and newspapers'had gone to bed.
 
Expect that to happen at the U.S. Open for South Africa, Europe and even the United Kingdom.
 
The U.S. Open has decided to go prime time in the United States, with a 7 p.m PDT finish at Torrey Pines. If everything goes according to schedule'rare in golf with so much slow play'the tournament will end at 3 a.m. in Britain, and roughly an hour later in continental Europe and South Africa.
 
When do you say to the West Coast, The tournament must end at 4 oclock your time, USGA executive director David Fay said. I know it puts Europe at a disadvantage. We tend to look east, where its just as easy to look to the west. If K.J. Choi (of South Korea) is leading, the time might be better for Asia.
 
The last time a major was held on the West Coast was Pebble Beach for the 2000 U.S. Open, and the final round was scheduled to end at 5 p.m. PDT.
 
RYDER UPDATE
Its tough to keep track of the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, with so much emphasis placed on this years performance and double points available at the majors. But with the first major in the books, a quick review shows only two of the top eight in the standings have won this year.
 
Tiger Woods leads the standings'no shock there.
 
Stewart Cink is second on the strength of two second-place finishes and a pair of thirds, including the Masters. Phil Mickelson, who won at Riviera, was in third place. The rest of the top eight'remember, Paul Azinger gets four captains picks'are Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, Justin Leonard and Brandt Snedeker.
 
Snedeker moved into the top eight with his tie for third at the Masters, which earned him almost as many points (870) as Sean OHair got for winning in Tampa (870).
 
DIMARCO MASTERS
Chris DiMarco finally won on the second week of April. Too bad he wasnt at the Masters.
 
DiMarco, who played in the final group two straight years and lost in a playoff to Tiger Woods in 2005, failed to qualify for the Masters for the first time since 2000.
 
According to Golfweek magazine, DiMarco and several PGA TOUR players from central Florida gathered last Wednesday at Sugarloaf Mountain, a terrific new course north of Orlando designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
 
DiMarco shot a 5-under 67 and won the Sugarloaf Masters by one shot over Garrett Willis and Fulton Allem. No word on whether he was awarded a green cap from the club.
 
DIVOTS
Michelle Wie has accepted an exemption to play July 17-20 at the LPGA State Farm Rail Classic. She previously accepted an invitational to play the preceding week at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Among the faces in the crowd at the Masters was Japanese star Ai Miyazato, who was at Augusta for the first time. Greg Normans longtime tournament, the Merrill Lynch Shootout, has raised its purse to $2.9 million. The last two Masters champions, Zach Johnson and Trevor Immelman, had only one PGA TOUR victory before earning the green jacket.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
A year after Zach Johnson played the par 5s in 11 under to win the Masters, Trevor Immelman was only 3 under on the par 5s.
 
FINAL WORD
Im more famous now than when I was famous.'Louise Suggs, who in the last two years has won the Bob Jones Award from the USGA and the William D. Richardson Award from the Golf Writers Association of America.
 
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.